1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Course Descriptions - Fall 2001

Courses that meet Major Area Requirements:

Prin. of Social Analysis Cultural Diversity Archaeology Linguistics
223,224,225,330,332,
355,529A,529B,577
260,305,352,354,
363,529C
280,348,356,388,
359A,589B
348,504,540
Non-Western perspectives
260,305,332,352,354,529C
Senior Seminars 
401A, 401B, 401C

Undergraduate Courses:

ANTH 223 FANTASY & SOCIAL VALUES (3) WAGNER
TR 0930-1045

An examination of imaginary societies, in particular those in science fiction novels, to see how they reflect the problems and tensions of real social life. Attention is given to "alternate cultures" and fictional societal models. A "cultural imaginary" a llow us to think carefully about implications of gender, technology, and social existence that we, for very good reasons, are not allowed to experiment upon. Three papers, mandatory attendance in lecture.

ANTH 228 CULTURE, HEALING AND HEALTH (3) MARSHALL
MWF 0900-0950

The suffering body is inevitable in human experience. Understanding and contextualizing suffering, identifying its origins and the means of a cure vary across cultures. This introduction to medical anthropology is organized thematically around a critical humanist approach along with perspectives from political economy and social constructionism. The aim of the course is to provide a broad understanding of the relationship between culture, healing (including biomedicine), health and political power.

ANTH 231 SYMBOL & MYTH (3) SAPIR
MW 1400-1515

This course treats human beings as "symbol making animals." We will first consider the basic nature of symbolism paying particular attention to the kind of complex symbolization that develops in imaginative thought. We will then treat the symbolism of cat egories, of space, male/female, directions, nature/culture and primarily the symbolism of myth. Throughout the course, substantive materials will be drawn from anthropological and common everyday 'at home' sources. This course meets the Non-Western Perspe ctive requirement.

ANTH 232 SYMBOL AND RITUAL (3) METCALF 
MWF 1000-1050 

Ritual provides the characteristic approach of anthropology to the comparative study of religion, and the analysis of ritual is anthropology's major contribution to that project. Everywhere ritual permeates social life, yet in no other category of behavio r is the exoticness of other cultures more striking. Consequently, ritual presents a special challenge to anthropology. This course asks common-sense questions about what rituals mean, and shows how far we have come to answering them in a century of theor izing. The student must enroll in one of the obligatory discussion sections in 232D.

ANTH 237 CULTURE HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY (3) SAPIR
MWF 1100-1150

This course is blocked out into three sections: (1) The nature of photography. What form of communication is it and what is unique about it? How do we "read" photographs and why are they always so ambiguous? What are the motivations for snapshots? (2) A survey of the history of photography from its invention at the beginning of the 19th century to the introduction of the Kodak in the 1880's; beyond that if time permits. Subjects to be covered: the people involved with the invention of photography; the early photographic processes; photographs of places in the world "views"; photographs of individuals, "likenesses"; photographs of "the other"; photographs in the archives - surveillance and the "criminal type," "genre photography;" photography as a n art in the early years until the first decades of the 20th century. The work of particular photographers will be examined in detail. We will conclude by returning to the general nature of photography, this time considering the intrusiveness of the photographic act from the "Kodak fiend" to t he paparazzi.

ANTH 242 LANGUAGE AND GENDER (3) CONTINI-MORAVA
MW 1100-1150

In many societies, differences in pronunciation, vocabulary choice, and/or communicative style serve as social markers of gender identity and differentiation. We will compare gender differences in our own society with those in other societies, including non-Western ones. Topics to be addressed include: the relation between gender difference and gender inequality (in scholarly discussion of language as well as in language itself); intersection of gender, race, and social class in language use; gender an d non-verbal communication (including representations of gender in advertising and the media); issues of nature vs. nurture in explaining these differences. Requirements will include one or two papers based on fieldwork conducted jointly with a working g roup, and a take-home essay question exam focusing on the course readings. The student must enroll in one of the obligatory discussion sections in 242D.

ANTH 243 LANGUAGES OF THE WORLD (3) DOBRIN
MW 1000-1050

This course introduces students to the diversity of human language and the principles of linguistic classification. How many languages are spoken in the world, and how are they related? What features do all languages share, and what ways may they differ? In surveying the world's languages, we will focus on the structure and social situation of a representative language for each geographic region covered. We will also consider the outlook for linguistic diversity into the 21st century. The student must enroll in one of the obligatory discussion sections for course 243D, which must be taken in conjunction with this course. 

Prerequisites: One year of a foreign language or permission of instructor for the major.

ANTH 260 INTRODUCTION TO INDIA (3) SENEVIRATNE
TR 1400-1515

A broad outline of the social and cultural systems of India. Among topics discussed are kinship and marriage, caste, religion and the aesthetic life.

ANTH 281 HUMAN ORIGINS (3) HANTMAN 
MWF 1000-1050 

The course is intended to provide an overview and assessment of the theory, methods, and data used by anthropologists to reconstruct human physical and cultural evolution. Chronologically, the course spans the time from the initial appearance of hominids (ca 4.5 million years ago) to the period prior to the rise of urbanism and early state formation (ca 10,000 B.C.). The course is divided into three topical components: 1) a review of evolutionary theory, and the controversy surrounding that theory; 2) a n in-depth survey of the data used to support current models of the pattern of human evolution, and 3) a study of the origins of modern human adaptations in the relatively recent past, with respect to uniquely human behaviors such as complex language, ritual, religion and art.

ANTH 282 RISE OF CIVILIZATIONS (3) RAINVILLE
MW 1530-1645

In this course we will focus on the emergence of complex society in the Old (Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Harappa) and New (Valley of Mexico, Maya Lowlands, and Peru) Worlds in order to consider reasons for cultural similarities and differences. We will combine archaeological, textual, and ethnographic evidence to understand the establishment of villages at the end of the Ice Age through the origin of the first cities. Topics discussed include the origins of agriculture and its effect on society, the shift from egalitarian societies to those with social ranking, the rise of cities, and the beginnings of writing. By highlighting the wide range of variability in pre-industrial civilizations, the course examines the role of cultural values in shaping the organization of early societies.

ANTH 300 PERSPECTIVES FOR MAJORS (1) TBA
M 1300-1350

A course for majors and for minors in the department designed to introduce them to a number of topics of concern to current anthropology. Majors and minors are expected to take this course at their first opportunity after joining the program. This cours e will also be offered in the spring.

ANTH 301 HISTORY AND THEORY OF ANTHROPOLOGY (3) TBA
TR 0930-1045

An outline of the development of anthropology as a scholarly discipline stressing both its unfolding internal logic and its relation to "the rest" of the world. Themes include the dialectics of structure, function, conflict, and cultural style. The s tudent must enroll in one of the discussion sections in 301D. Restricted to third and fourth year Anthropology majors.

ANTH 316/761 CONTEMPORARY HINDUISM (3) KHARE
TR 1100-1215

A discussion of some major cultural markers, social events and political issues in contemporary (mostly post-independence) Hinduism and their impact on the changing (a) traditional Hindu world views and interests; (b) popular Hindu culture in the mass med ia and in Indian films; (c) Indian public debates; (d) issues of social justice; (e) the fate of secularism in India.

ANTH 324 PLANTATIONS IN AFRICA AND THE CARIBBEAN (3) SABEA
TR 0930-1045

This course seeks a comparative analysis of plantations in Africa and the Caribbean by highlighting the similarities and differences between the two contexts and their effects on plantations as place of work and spaces of sociality. It also examines the h istorical linkages between Africa and the Caribbean in the making and reproduction of plantations as they relate to the colonial empires, the differentiated entrenchment of capitalism around the globe, and correspondent movement of ideas, people and thing s. Finally, the course explores the socio-economic and political implications of plantations on the localities in which they have been operating.

ANTH 328 RACE, 'PROGRESS,' AND THE WEST (3) MARSHALL
TR 1400-1630

How does the notion of race shape our conceptions of nationhood, class, culture and gender? How was (is) whiteness understood as "raced?" This seminar will analyze the historic development of the race concept in the west from the European "enlightenment" to the 21st century and analyze and interpret constructions, deconstructions and reconstructions of race, particularly in regard to the imbrications of race/culture, race/nation and race/gender in Western theory and practice. Requirements include a 20-page research paper (fulfills AAS major requirement) and short oral presentations on the readings.

ANTH 330 TOURNAMENTS AND ATHLETES (4) MENTORE
TR 1100-1215

This course will offer you a cross-cultural study of competitive games. Criticizing current theories about the "innocence" of sports while comparing and contrasting various athletic events from societies around the world, it will provide an argument to e xplain the competitive bodily displays of athletes. It will select materials, which allow you to examine bodily movement, meaning, context, and process, in addition to the relations between athletes, officials, spectators, and social systems. Its genera l thesis will be that sport brings out the universal morals of community, challenges and tests them in controlled and unthreatening genres, yet never defeats them or makes them appear unjust. The student must enroll in one of the obligatory discussion sections in 330D.

ANTH 347/AMEL 347 LANGUAGE & CULTURE IN MIDEAST (3) LEFKOWITZ
TR 1100-1215

This course introduces the people, cultures, and histories of the Middle East, through an examination of language-use in contemporary Middle Eastern societies. The course focuses on Israel/Palestine, and the contract between Hebrew and Arabic, as a micro cosm providing insight into important social processes such as colonization, religious fundamentalism, modernization, and the changing status of women affecting the region as a whole. Readings contrast ethnographic with novelistic representations of lang uage, society, and identity. A primary concern will be to compare social scientific and literary constructions of "self" and "other" in the context of the political and military confrontation between Israel and Palestine. This is a lecture and discussio n course. A number of feature films from the Middle East are incorporated into the course material. Requirements include three short essays, a book review, and a research paper. 

Prerequisite: Previous course in anthropology or Middle Eastern studies, or permission of the instructor.

ANTH 352 AMAZONIAN PEOPLES (3) MENTORE
TR 1500-1615

Native Lowland South American people have been portrayed as "animistic", "totemic", "shamanic", "mythologic", "Dreauduan", "slash and burn horticulturalists", "stateless", "gentle", "fierce", and much more. What do these anthropological portraits mean and what do they contribute to the collective body of Western intellectual thought? Is there any relation between such thinking and the experience of being "Indian" in Amazonian societies? Are there any other ways of understanding the Amazonian social experi ences? This course addresses these questions through a reading of the ethnography of the region. This course will satisfy the non-western perspectives requirement.

ANTH 355 EVERYDAY LIFE IN AMERICA (3) DAMON
MWF 1100-1150

Using production and exchange theories about society, this course creates an anthropological perspective on modern American society by analyzing attempts to impose order on the American mind from the Second Great Awakening to the present. The course begin s by locating society in present day dynamics found from the Texas panhandle to the tamed Columbia River, and from Wall Street to Silicon Valley by way of urban America. We then take a historical tour beginning with the Second Great Awakening, ending with the paradoxes of gambling and scandals in the late 20th century. Particular emphasis will be put on trials and persecutional forms as mechanisms for dealing with the dialectics of order and its discontents. Data will range from monographic case studi es to novels and movies. Four papers, three short (2-8 pages), one long (10+). This course meets the second writing requirement. Student are encouraged to enroll in one of the discussion sections in 355D.

ANTH 363 CHINESE FAMILY AND RELIGION (3) SHEPHERD
T R 12:30-1:45

This course will introduce students to anthropological analysis of the traditional Chinese forms of the Chinese family and popular religion, and their modern transformations. Topics to be covered include the dynamics of Chinese marriage and domestic life , gender roles, the religious underpinnings of Chinese family life in ancestor worship and the Chinese cult of the dead, marriage rituals, and the cult of filial piety. The forms of temple worship, the interaction of the Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian t raditions, and the shamanic tradition will also be covered. Finally, attention will be paid to the changing role of the family and religion in twentieth-century Chinese life. This course will satisfy the Second Writing Requirement. Meets Non-Western requ irements.

ANTH 383 NORTH AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY (3) LAURIA
TR 1400-1515

This course provides an overview of the contributions of archaeological research to our understanding of the long-term history of North America, from the prehistoric to the historic era. Topics include the current controversy over the initial human settlement of the Americas, the development of distinctive regional Native American traditions, the cyclical patterns of development of hierarchical societies (e.g. Chaco, Mississippian, Powhatan), interaction between Indians and European colonists, and the historical archaeology of Europeans and Africans in colonial America. There are no prerequisites for this course, but students will be expected to possess a basic understanding of anthropological archaeology.

ANTH 388 AFRICAN ARCHAEOLOGY (3) LAVIOLETTE
M W F 09:00-9:50

This course surveys archaeological knowledge currently available about ancient North Africa, the Sahara, and sub-Saharan Africa. The emphases will be on the Late Stone Age, the Iron Age, and the archaeology of the colonial period. The goal is to provide a firm grasp of the great transformations in pre-modern African history, and to provide students with information about some of the most important archaeological sites, discoveries, and research on the continent. Throughout the course, a theme will be t he politics of the past, and the changing role of the practice of archaeology in Africa.

ANTH 401A SENIOR SEMINAR: AN ARCHAEOLOGY OF EUROPE (3) LAVIOLETTE
W 1400-1630

This seminar covers major issues in the archaeology of Europe from the Middle Paleolithic/Upper Paleolithic transition (Neanderthals to fully modern humans) through the colonial expansion of Europe in the modern period. Students will work from several te xts and a variety of supplementary journal materials, and will be responsible for contributing to discussion, occasionally leading discussion, preparing a research paper of 18-20 pages, and providing an oral presentation on their research papers.

ANTH 401B SENIOR SEMINAR: SOCIAL INEQUALITIES AND SURVIVAL ISSUES (3) KHARE
TR 1530-1800

A seminar on anthropology of social inequality, devoted to examining changing interrelationships among the inequalities produced by caste, class, race, and religious ideology. The two main cultures under comparative discussion will be India and the U. S., with a focus on some specific issues concerning women, marginal groups, social injustice and survival.

ANTH 401C KINSHIP, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (3) MCKINNON
TR 1230-1345

This seminar will explore the ways in which developments in science and technology are shaping what counts as kinship, as well as the ways in which understandings about kinship shape the practices of science and technology, and the legal interpretations o f those practices. We will focus on specific ethnographic examples from the new reproductive technologies, biogenetics, disease genealogies, and the human genome project. We will investigate the ways in which older ideas about kinship continue to inform these new technologies at the same time that the new technologies destabilize many of the foundational ideas about what constitutes kinship. In all of this, we will be concerned with the intersection between ideas about kinship and those concerning gende r, race, class, sexuality, species, and the relation between humans and machines. Each student will conduct a research project on a topic of his or her choosing and will write a 20-page seminar paper. Meets second writing requirement.

Anth 405A ANTHROPOLOGY OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA (3) BRAND
M 1300-1530

In this seminar we will investigate the role of anthropology as it relates to the African diaspora: How do people of the African diaspora make sense of their world? In what ways do forces such as colonialism, capitalism and racism shape these understandings? What commonalities and differences can we find across different parts of the diaspora? Readings will focus primarily on the United States, but will include also studies from the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe and, of course, Africa.(cross-listed with AAS 405A)

 


Courses open to Undergraduates and Graduates:

ANTH 529 CULTURAL STUDIES OF SCIENCE (3) MCKINNON
W 1530-1800

This course explores the culture of science and science as a cultural production. It asks how the conventions of science were brought into being in a particular historical and cultural context, and how these conventions are challenged in and by different national contexts and transnational movements. It asks what social hierarchies shape who gets to do science, and how science contributes to the creation and maintenance (or the dismantling) of social hierarchies. It asks how different cultural understa ndings delimit the questions that can and cannot be asked, the way "facts" are produced, and what "objectivity" might be about. Along the way, it delves into the fascinating ethnographies of a diverse set of scientific topics--from slime mold to high-ene rgy physics, from epidemiology to artificial life, from primatology to biogenetics. This is a graduate course, but it is open to interested upper-level undergraduates, by permission of the instructor.

ANTH 540 LINGUISTIC ANTHROPOLOGY (3) LEFKOWITZ
W 1900-2130

This is an advanced introduction to the study of language from an anthropological point of view. No prior coursework in linguistics is expected, but the course is aimed at graduate students who will use what they learn in their own anthropologically orien ted research. Advanced undergraduate students may also enroll in the course. Topics include an introduction to such basic concepts in linguistic anthropology as: language variation and change, language and nationalism, the study of poetic language, the et hnography of communication, conversational structure, language universals, language and world-view, and the nature of symbolic meaning. Through readings and discussion, the implications of each of these topics for the general conduct of anthropology will be addressed. Evaluation is based on take-home essays and problem sets which are assigned throughout the semester. The course fulfills the linguistics distribution requirement for Anthropology graduate and undergraduate students. It also counts toward the Linguistics major for graduate and undergraduate students.

ANTH 575 BUDDHISM, POLITICS AND POWER (3) SENEVIRATNE
M 1400-1630

An examination of the relation between renunciation and power, religion and politics, in the Theravada Buddhist societies of south and Southeast Asia, especially Burma, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

ANTH 577 CULTURAL INVENTORIES (3) WAGNER
T R 14:00-16:15

No description available.

ANTH 589B HISTORY PRODUCTION & COLLECTIVE MEMORY (3) SABEA
T 1700-1930

This course is an examination of the meanings and relationships between the past, memory and history in anthropological practices and debates. Specifically, it seeks an analysis of the conceptual and methodological boundaries between history production an d collective memory paradigms. By focusing on particular case studies, the course deals with the making of public/official history, alternative histories, the politics of social memory, ownership of the past, and the role of history (as narration, memory, produced histories) in the drawing of boundaries between groups.

ANTH 589C TOPICS IN ARCHAEOLOGY 3.0 TBA
W 1900-2130

No description available

 


Graduate courses:

ANTH 701 HISTORY OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL THEORY (3) DAMON
M 1900-2130

Explores the diverse intellectual roots of the discipline, showing how they converged into a unitary program in the late nineteenth century, and how this program was criticized and revised in the first half of this century.

ANTH 703 ETHNOLOGY II: "THE ETHNOGRAPHIC BASIS" (3) METCALF
MW 1530-1645

This is a required course for graduate students in their third semester. Its purpose is to give a close reading to a range of primary ethnographies, some classic, others recent, which demonstrate a range of abstract theoretical paradigms being applied to real-world situations. Since ethnographies provide the basis for whatever truth claims anthropologists make it is essential that we learn to probe them to find out what their authors learned and how they learned it, whether their propositions carry convic tion, and how they make themselves readable, assuming they do.

ANTH 705 DATA ANALYSIS (3) SHEPHERD
M W 1400-1515

This course is designed to follow a course on ethnographic methods and research design, and assumes students have had some experience practicing fieldwork methods of data gathering. (For some students the implications of the course material for research design will remain the primary focus). We will review selected methods and design issues, and proceed to the next stages of the research process: organizing data, analysis, write-up, and re-design. The course will be run as both seminar and writing wor kshop. Students will be expected to make numerous class presentations, and to submit drafts of work in progress. Students will experiment in their writing and analysis with a variety of conceptual approaches and ethnographic styles.

ANTH 729 NATIONALISM AND THE POLITICS OF CULTURE (3)HANDLER
TR 1530-1645

This course surveys theories of nationalism in relationship to theories of culture, and then looks at culture-building and history-making processes as these reflect nationalist politics. The course also considers racial and ethnic identity and cultural au thenticity.

ANTH 734 LIFE HISTORY AND ORAL HISTORY (3) PERDUE
T R 1400-1515

This course offers an in-depth study of the life history and its use as a sociocultural document, and of oral history methodology. Students will read and critique various works, both historical and contemporary, that use oral history or present what vario us scholars have termed: personal narrative, personal experience story, life history, conversational narrative, or negotiated biography. Practical experience will be gained in conducting interviews and writing life histories.

ANTH 747 LANGUAGE AND CULTURE IN THE MIDDLE EAST (3) LEFKOWITZ
TR 1100-1215

This course introduces the people, cultures, and histories of the Middle East, through an examination of language-use in contemporary Middle Eastern societies. The course focuses on Israel/Palestine, and the contract between Hebrew and Arabic, as a micro cosm providing insight into important social processes such as colonization, religious fundamentalism, modernization, and the changing status of women affecting the region as a whole. Readings contrast ethnographic with novelistic representations of lang uage, society, and identity. A primary concern will be to compare social scientific and literary constructions of "self" and "other" in the context of the political and military confrontation between Israel and Palestine. This is a lecture and discussio n course. A number of feature films from the Middle East are incorporated into the course material. Requirements include three short essays, a book review, and a research paper.

ANTH 761 CONTEMPORARY HINDUISM (3) KHARE
TR 1100-1215

A discussion of some major cultural markers, social events and political in contemporary (mostly post-independence) Hinduism and their impact on the changing (a) traditional Hindu world views and interests; (b) popular Hindu culture in the mass media and in Indian films; (c) Indian public debates; (d) issues of social justice; (e) the fate of secularism in India.

ANTH 763 CHINESE FAMILY AND RELIGION (3) SHEPHERD
TR 1230-1345

This course will introduce students to anthropological analysis of the traditional Chinese forms of the Chinese family and popular religion, and their modern transformations. Topics to be covered include the dynamics of Chinese marriage and domestic life , gender roles, the religious underpinnings of Chinese family life in ancestor worship and the Chinese cult of the dead, marriage rituals, and the cult of filial piety. The forms of temple worship, the interaction of the Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian t raditions, and the shamanic tradition will also be covered. Finally, attention will be paid to the changing role of the family and religion in twentieth century Chinese life.

ANTH 781 ARCHAEOLOGY I (3) HANTMAN
MW 1530-1645

This course analyzes the transformation of societies based on a mobile, hunting-gathering adaptation to an agricultural economy with permanent villages and emerging political complexity. Models of the origin of agriculture and sedentism are reviewed and evaluated in the context of the most recent research on these issues.

ANTH 788 AFRICAN ARCHAEOLOGY (3) LAVIOLETTE
MWF 0900-0950

This course surveys archaeological knowledge currently available about ancient North Africa, the Sahara, and sub-Saharan Africa. The emphases will be on the Late Stone Age, the Iron Age, and the archaeology of the colonial period. The goal is to provide a firm grasp of the great transformations in pre-modern African history, and to provide students with information about some of the most important archaeological sites, discoveries, and research on the continent. Throughout the course, a theme will be the politics of the past, and the changing role of the practice of archaeology in Africa.